Barry McNamee played a captain's role on his return to Cork City as Derry City came away from Turners Cross with a hard-fought point.
Cork City 0
Derry City 0
In a game of few chances, Cork City will feel the most disappointed not to have taken the win, but it was another test of character passed for Devine’s young Derry, who refused to give in in the face of constant Cork pressure in the second half.
The closest either team came in a quiet first half came from Cork full back Shane Griffin just past the half hour mark. Griffin reacted quickest to win a loose ball ahead of Junior Ogide-Uzokwe and the defender surged forward before drilling shot at goal which just clipped the outside of Peter Cherrie’s post.
Derry City started the second half strongly and could have opened the scoring within two minutes of the restart, Barry McNamee’s corner finding Greg Sloggett whose goal-bound header was blocked before the loose ball bounced around the penalty area before Cork eventually cleared.
The game was bereft of chances but a poor clearance by Peter Cherrie almost gifted Cork a goal midway through the half, his poor punch galling to Garry Buckley, but the Derry goalkeeper made amends by blocking the resultant shot to keep the scores deadlocked just when Cork were getting on top for the first time.
Derry were hanging on by their fingertips as the game entered the final ten minutes and they were fortunate to survive when Gearoid Morrissey’s cross found Buckley at the back post but his downward header just crept past the post with Cherrie beaten.
Cork City came even closer just two minutes later as Derry failed to clear the ball from a corner and when Shane Griffin returned the ball into the penalty area, Conor McCarthy was unmarked in the centre of the goal but could only direct the ball wide of goal when he should have scored.
Derry, under the cosh for most of the second half, could have sneaked the win in the closing stages when substitute Aidy Delap raced through but his shot was blocked behind by McCarthy as Cork breathed a sigh of relief.
Cork City: McNulty, McLoughlin (Horgan 60’), Morrissey, McCormack, Buckley, O’Connor (Tilley 60’), Sheppard, Griffin, McCarthy, Casey, Nash (Smith 77’).
Derry City: Cherrie, Coll, Gilchrist, Toal, Cole, Sloggett, Harkin, McNamee, Ogide-Uzoke (Stokes 61’), Parkhouse (Seraf 88’), McCrudden (Delap 72’).
Referee: R Rogers.
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